Erica Hubbard is the full package; she embodies wonderful attributes that make her noticeable on screen and on the red carpet. Erica has far proven she is more than the "noxzema girl" doing commericals, and "Cassie" was only the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to delivering a dramatic performance. Hailing from South Chicago, Hubbard entered the world of entertainment at quite a young age. It’s hard to imagine the charisma she already brought forth at nine to land her a modeling deal with FORD, much less doing voice-overs. But I guess it’s just as she described it, “growing up in a Midwestern environment is great, because those states breed hard-working people.” And hard-working she certainly is.
If you’re only familiar with Erica Hubbard the actress and model, then allow our exclusive interview to enlighten you on all the other talents this stunner possesses. Read on for more. Go ahead, indulge yourselves:
EY: Thanks for taking the time. Tell us about Erica and what growing up in Chicago was like for you.
EH: Thank you! Growing up on the South Side of Chicago was great! Although I hung out in some gang and drug infested areas, I made some great friendships. I believe growing up in a Midwestern environment is great, because those states breed hard-working people. I love everything about Chicago, even the blizzards that happen there. Chicagoans are very friendly people, approachable, and are down-to-earth. Moreover, all our food is great…Chicago’s deep dish pizza is addictive!
EY: You’ve been in entertainment since a young age. What inspired you to pursue a career in acting?
EH: I was fortunate to start my career at the age of nine modeling (with FORD Models), doing voice-overs, and commercials. My dad said I kept asking to be in commercials and would imitate people on screen. It was then he decided to get me involve in the entertainment industry. Before I knew it, I was making appearances on productions filmed in Chicago such as Early Edition (with Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights), ER, Light It Up and Save The Last Dance. Then my agent from FORD Models told me I would have to move to the West Coast if I wanted to book more roles. Shortly after I graduated from Columbia College I moved to California and stayed in a motel for months during pilot season with my parents. After several months, I finally found a place to live and my parents went back to Chicago after I settled into LA.
“I will always love the fact I was a Sutton!”
EY: “Lincoln Heights” was like a breakthrough for you. How was it working with the cast and crew?
EH: Lincoln Heights TV Drama was a dream come true for my career! Playing Cassie Sutton for four and a half years was great because we all loved each other, and the love we had for each other transpired onto the screen while filming. Every time we would wrap production each year we all would cry because we loved working together so much. Russell Hornsby (Grimm, NBC) would cry with us all. Our days were long, sometimes we would film any where from 15 to 19 hours a day, Monday through Friday, so we all grew very close to one another! I will always love the fact I was a Sutton!
EY: Did you relate with your character ‘Cassie’ in any way?
EH: I loved portraying Cassie Sutton because she was an honest, kind-hearted, creative person who just loved being in love. Honestly, I truly related to Cassie because she was a very smart character that was wise beyond her years. I am so happy that Paul Lee (who is now at ABC) gave me the opportunity. It is really great when I see people on Twitter and Facebook say how much they loved Cassie! Since Lincoln Heights is syndicated and plays on TV One Network and on Netflix, our audience keeps building from when we were on ABC Family. It was also gratifying being on Lincoln Heights when we won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Best Drama Series!
EY: What have you taken from that experience?
EH: I have taken a strong work ethic and professionalism from working on Lincoln Heights and watching Russell Hornsby and Nicki Micheaux in scenes. Also, I have developed my acting skills while working on the show with veteran actors who were series regulars as well as guest stars. It was also such an honor to work with talented directors on Lincoln Heights such as Michael Shultz, Kevin Hooks, Steven Bochco, Ernest Dickerson, Craig Ross Jr., Seith Mann, Charles Stone, Andy Wolk, Kevin Sullivan, etc. ABC Family brought in extremely gifted directors.
EY: And how have you transitioned since then?
EH: Well, I made a huge transition from a drama to working on a hit-comedy show, Let’s Stay Together. I really love my job and everyone I work with at BET/Viacom! I truly am happy that I am a part of this show and get the opportunity to make our audience smile and laugh! We film in Atlanta, Georgia and I really love filming there and feel very grateful!
“Preparing for a role and getting into the process of each character I play is very time consuming, thus, I don’t have a huge social life.”
EY: Tell us about your current role as the independent ‘Kita Whitmore’ on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
EH: Kita Whitmore, is a single, sassy, fun-loving, very independent, out-spoken girl who loves fashion. Kita lives in an apartment and currently works for the DMV. She is looking for another job as well as trying to find the love of her life. In the meantime, Kita loves always giving her advice.
EY: How challenging is it to prepare for a role, is there a process for getting into character and finding that emotion that will possibly connect with your audience?
EH: Preparing for a role and getting into the process of each character I play is very time consuming, thus, I don’t have a huge social life. It is very important for me to develop a character that the audience can relate to so I call or go see a lot of my family members and ask tons of questions about their likes and dislikes in life. I prefer asking people who aren’t in the entertainment industry because they’re close to reality and often times have a lifestyle like my characters.
EY: You’ve done mainly dramas and I’m sure that as an actress it’s always important to be versatile. So, would you be interested in taking on suspense, horror or action roles?
EH: I always like to keep my possibilities and opportunities open. I believe an actor should never limit themselves, and should be open to portraying different kinds of roles in varying genres. I appeared in a horror film called Simon Says (in which Ernie Lively- dad of Blake Lively from Gossip Girl on CW-hired me), and I would love to do another horror film. Yes, I would also love to do an action role, suspense film, and even a love story. I love the art of story-telling and creating so I have an open-mind about being in all genres of production.
EY: Has there ever been a character that you’ve seen in a film or on television and thought ‘wow that could’ve been me?’
EH: Yes, there are a couple of film roles that I had to turn down because of a prior filming conflict and looked at who there second choice was and thought “wow that could have been me.” However, I try to not ponder so much on “what if” because the journey of life and its beauty can only be seen when you remain happy and go with its flow!
“I believe you can have a lot of success in your life, but it is more important to care about your community and make sure charity work is a priority.”
EY: Let’s side step from acting a bit. I’ve recently discovered that you also write books for children. Can you share a little about this other talent and what inspired you to write for kids in particular?
EH: I love the art of story telling so I decided to write a fun but educational book about five very diverse characters that grow up together and learn to embrace each other in spite of their different nationalities and up-bringing. In the colorful, fun-filled, educational children’s books I wrote about five characters who learn to love spending time together. They like to hang-out at the play ground, library, gardens, recycling, camping, swimming, cook, play instruments together, etc.
EY: You also have your own Production Company and Foundation. Tell us a little about both and what you hope to accomplish.
EH: My production company is E. Hubbard Productions. I produced a couple of short-films and plan to produce a feature soon that I wrote. One of the short films I starred in, wrote and produced was an official selection at The Pan African Film Festival and I was extremely excited about my participation!
My non-profit was formed because I wanted to “give back” to my community and make sure that I did community service projects every year. The Erica Hubbard Foundation is a 501c3 that mentors at-risk youth. I believe you can have a lot of success in your life, but it is more important to care about your community and make sure charity work is a priority.
EY: How do you take on so much and yet manage to maintain your focus?
EH: I believe I am able to manage a full schedule with my TV show, Books, Production Company, Non-Profit, Spirituality and spending time with my family because attending a four-year college has trained me to be detail oriented, stay focus on the task, and have great time management skills. Also, I believe in taking a vacation every year to decompose and relax. Recently,I visited Tahiti and it was truly amazing!
EY: You look amazing by the way. Would you mind sharing your secret with our readers?
EH: I truly appreciate the compliment. I believe in taking care of my skin and encourage everyone to take time out for yourself and see your dermatologist and estation. I think if your skin feels great you will feel great emotionally. It is always good to pamper yourself because everyone deserves it!
EY: Well, we’ve come to the end of the interview. Please leave a message for your fans around the globe.
EH: Thank you for your support and for following my career. I believe we all need a great team of people around us to encourage, and every time I go on Facebook or Twitter I know I am surrounded by great people. Thanks for your love and care!
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